It feels good to be flex­ing the stage act­ing mus­cles again

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

I WENT to Barcelona, and it was a re­ally nice way to un­wind from it all. Strictly is such a big show and you don’t re­alise how pop­u­lar it is.

It felt like ev­ery­one in Bri­tain was watch­ing it, but you’re not re­ally aware of that at the time be­cause you are so busy re­hears­ing. Ready for a good stage fright?

finds out how last year’s Strictly champ Joe McFad­den is pre­par­ing to spook au­di­ences with a ghostly thriller have them jump out of their seats. It’s funny in places as well and it’s both a mod­ern thriller and ghost story. (LAUGHS) You say that, but at one point (voice as­sis­tant) Alexa starts play­ing this mu­sic and my char­ac­ter has a bit of a dance in the house on his own. The some­one comes in and says: ‘I don’t think we’re go­ing to see you on Strictly mate.’ It’s my favourite line in the play. Maybe that’s why they gave me the part. IT’S about five years since I was last on stage. I did Torch Song Tril­ogy at the Me­nier Cho­co­late Fac­tory. That’s the show that the pro­duc­ers of Holby City came along to see and led to me work­ing on the TV se­ries.

I’ve been lucky to have done a lot of tele­vi­sion over the last few years, but it feels good now to be flex­ing the stage act­ing mus­cles again. I think it’s a good thing for an ac­tor to do. I HAD a fan­tas­tic drama teacher in Glas­gow who used to in­vite TV di­rec­tors to come along to see our pro­duc­tions and I ended up on Tag­gart.

(Chuck­les) I ob­vi­ously looked like the sort of boy whose fa­ther had his head chopped off – young and wide-eyed and like a vic­tim.

I never had the guts to go to drama school. I didn’t have that self-be­lief. It’s such a com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try.

I fell into tele­vi­sion and I learned on the job. I taught my­self to an ex­tent and I’ve taken voice lessons and singing lessons over the years. THE BBC mini-se­ries The Crow Road changed my life. I’d al­ways done soap op­eras up un­til then and I re­mem­ber think­ing ‘this is re­ally good qual­ity tele­vi­sion’ and I was scared I was go­ing to mess it up. But it’s good for you as a per­son to do things that take you out of your com­fort zone. I signed with an agent down south af­ter The Crow Road and it opened a lot of doors for me. I did Cran­ford with Judi Dench and Eileen Atkins, was in Aladdin at the Old Vic with Ian McKellen and there has been Heart­beat and Holby as well. For a long time I think I was a bit be­mused by it all and thought it was not go­ing to last. Even now, 30 years on, I still love act­ing so much and I think I’ve been very lucky to have done so many things, like Strictly. I GO for walks with my dog, a cock­apoo called Dou­glas, and I just en­joy nor­mal stuff – watch­ing scary films like the Hal­loween, Scream and In­sid­i­ous movies and go­ing to the theatre to check out what ev­ery­one else is do­ing. I might go to the gym in Jan­uary to lose a lit­tle bit of weight I’ll prob­a­bly put on over Christ­mas, but that usu­ally only lasts for a few weeks. I’ve done Dry Jan­uary in the past as well and I might give that a go again for 2019. The world pre­miere of Peter James’ The House On Cold Hill tours the UK from Jan­uary 23. Go to pe­ter­james.com for de­tails.

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